Sorry but NO. Has it never happened before, an 18-year-old becoming a surrogate? I am sure it has in the past but there are many reasons that it is rare, especially in the USA. Here is my take on why it is best to wait until a woman is at least 21 to become a surrogate.
First, an 18-year-old with a baby, because she has to have had an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth AND parenting her own child as per most requirements, will have her hands full just parenting! Secondly, although she is of legal age to sign a contract, it could be challenged in court depending on the circumstances. Third, the rest of a woman’s fertile life has to be considered. There is a chance that she might lose her fertility due to a complication within the surrogacy pregnancy/birth. Although this is the same for older women it can be even more devastating for those under 21.
Very few 18-20 year old’s will pass the psychological evaluation due to maturity. Responsible and mature women with life experience make the better surrogate/carrier (one would hope). I know that statement will not be a popular one among those younger women but the truth is the surrogacy process is very expensive for Intended Parents. Upwards toward $125,000.00 and that means that the majority of the responsibility rests on the shoulders of the surrogate. She needs to take her part very seriously. A surrogate needs to follow all of the doctor’s orders. She needs to take all of her shots, pills, patches etc. at the right times. She needs to have reliable transportation to attend each and every appointment. She needs to take care of herself even if it means putting her own family on the back burner. If she is put on bedrest that means staying on bedrest, if she is told no sexual activities with her partner then that means NONE. If she is told she can’t lift more than 10 lbs. that means no picking up her 30-pound toddler. She needs to keep track of every receipt, bill, statement and parking permit throughout the process.
Needless to say, for those of you who are under 21 and dream about becoming a surrogate, just wait. Do all of your research, read the qualifications and requirements and be ready when the time comes to fill out that application. Your heart is in the right place and that is the first step!